Don’t See the End Too Soon

I make a lot of mistakes when I play golf. So many in fact that there are days I wonder why I play the game at all. People who play with me would tell you that the biggest mistake I make is that at some point during a round my swing gets too fast and I lose all control over what I’m doing. That’s not entirely true, sometimes my swing is too fast right from the start and never slows down.

That is indeed a big mistake, but it’s not my biggest one. When my swing gets fast my score goes up, the round is pretty much over and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it. At least it seems like I can’t.

I think my biggest mistake on the golf course is seeing the end too soon. Here’s what I mean by that. There are days when I play well, at least by my standards. Everything seems to work and I even seem to catch a few breaks. Then I look at the scorecard and start to think….Geez, if I can par the last two holes, or even just bogey them this will be an awesome score.

I instantly stop doing whatever I was doing and boom, the last two holes are double or triple bogeys… or worse. I saw the end too soon and just stopped doing the things I needed to do to successfully complete my round.

One of my mentors once told me that as important as it is to start well, it’s even more important to finish well. I’ve come to learn that’s true, not only in golf, but in most parts of life.

As I publish this post we have about 10 days left in 2014. 10 days left to finish well. These are the days when most people take their foot off the gas and kind of cruise to the end. They are seeing the end of 2014 just a bit too soon.

When I was a high school student, a former Vice-President of the United States came to my school to speak. He had recently lost the presidential election to Richard Nixon. He gave us some advice that I have never forgotten. He said to be careful what you say in your concession speech because it’s really not the last speech of your campaign, it is actually the first speech of your next one.

These final days of 2014 can either be the end of this year or you can choose to use them as a springboard to a successful 2015. You can slow down or you can hit next year running. If your goal is to lose 15 pounds in 2015 you could lose 1 by the end of 2014 and have only 14 left to lose in 2015. You could be 1/15 of the way to your goal before the year even begins.

Here’s the point, you can make all of 2015 better, easier, more productive, and more prosperous by finishing 2014 strong.

As the great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” Don’t let your 2014 be over even one day too soon!

Will 2015 be Better for You?

They are here! The “Holidays” have arrived. The days of the holiday season seem to go by much faster than the rest of the year. Before we know it 2015 will be upon us. Soon, people will be wishing us a Happy New Year and we’ll be hoping for a brighter 2015 for ourselves and those we care about.

Stop hoping. Start doing.

Now is the time to set goals for 2015 and the rest of your life. Research shows that 84% of people have no formal goals. They have plans, dreams, hopes and of course, the ubiquitous good intentions but not true goals.

True goals are written out objectives, along with an almost daily plan for how you will achieve those objectives. True goals are what high achievers use to get ahead. True goals are what successful people use to motivate themselves.

I could write pages on how to set goals but there is already enough info online that covers the subject better than I could. So here’s a different kind of help, a 2015 kind of help.

Here are three apps that can help you determine just how successful 2015, and the rest of your life will be.

GoalsOnTrack. Perhaps the most robust goal-setting app available, it allows you to record your goals, your personal motivations, start and end dates, sub goals, habits and most importantly, action plans.

It will sync with Google Calendar and Outlook and you can create goal templates within the app as well. It’s not the prettiest of the goal-setting apps but it’s very effective.

LifeTick. My goals are based on my Core Values. The beauty of this app is you begin the goal-setting process by defining your own core values, after all, these are YOUR goals.

Once you have determined your Core Values the app will walk you through the SMART goals process and then add the steps required to help you actually achieve the goal. It lets you keep track of your goal achieving activities and let’s you add notes too.

One big difference is that it is multi-user so others can be part of your goal setting process, this is great for couples. The big downside of this app is that it’s desktop based and in my experience life is mobile.

Strides. This is a great looking app and it has excellent dashboards. It’s like looking at your life on a Smartphone screen. This is more of a habit tracking program than a true goal-setting app but it understands that there are different types of goals and allows you to track the activities required to achieve them. It’s not free (3.99) and it is only available for iOS at the moment.

There are other apps you can check out, which one you choose matters less than the fact that at least your thinking about and planning your future.

Start now and take your time. Goal-setting can, and should be time consuming. You are after all planning the rest of your life. Research conducted by AAA says that the average person will spend 40 hours planning a two-week vacation. Research conducted by me says the average person will spend 0 hours planning the rest of their life.

Don’t be average!